North side house fire

Brian Schaeffer, Assistant Chief, 509.625.7002

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 at 1:49 a.m.

The Spokane City Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire at 5616 N G St at 1:49 AM on Tuesday, September 17th. Initially Engine 16, from the neighborhood Fire Station located by Joe Albi Footbal Stadium, was dispatched alone to investigate the situation. Once that fire crew arrived on scene they reported heavy smoke coming from inside the one story wood/frame dwelling and immediately requested a full alarm to respond to the scene. That request would add three additional engines, one senior ladder, one light rescue rig, and two Battalion Chiefs to the incident. Engine 16 reported by radio that they were going to enter the residence and attempt an interior attack on the fire that was burning in the structure's basement. As they began their descent they reported that the basement was fully charged with smoke and that they were searching for the seat of the fire. The fire was located in a storage room in the basement and they were able to get the fire knocked down fairly rapidly with the pre-connected hoseline that they had taken inside with them. As the other fire crews began arriving on scene they were assigned to various tasks which included a back-up hose line to protect the crew already inside attacking the fire, water supply, and another engine company was ordered to horizontally vent the building by opening windows. The ladder crew was ordered to do a primary and a secondary search of the structure to ensure that everyone was out of the building. A Scene Safety officer was assigned, and the mandated Rapid Intervention Team (RIT) was established for any needed rescue of a lost or down firefighter. Fortunately the two residents of the home had been awakened by the smoke detectors and the whole house alarm system and were able to safely exit the house before the Fire Department's arrival. Crews remained on scene for nearly three hours overhauling and searching for any signs of hidden fire. There were no reports of injuries to any of the firefighters at the scene. The building sustained heavy fire and severe heat damage to most of the basement and the main floor suffered smoke damage in all rooms. The cause of this fire is being investigated by the Spokane City Fire Department's Special Investigation Unit.

Cause: Under investigation by members of the Special Investigations Unit.

Damage: Heavy fire and heat damage to most of the basement area, smoke damage to the main floor of the house.

#Firefighters Responding: 20

Dollar Loss: $40,000

Other Agencies Responding:N/A